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EastEnders star Charlie Brooks launches U-shaped vibrator with Ann Summers

Watch: Eastenders star Charlie Brooks reveals new business venture

EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks, best known for playing Janine Butcher in the BBC soap, has taken a change in her career after she left Albert Square at the end of 2022, now partnering up with Ann Summers to launch her own vibrator.

It might seem like a bit of a curveball for the 41-year-old actor, who has appeared in over 1,000 episodes of the long-running soap, but it's actually been four years in the making.

The soap star – who is currently touring with a stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane – took to Instagram to reveal the news, exclaiming that the “secret is out”

“The secret is out. I designed a vibrator,” she wrote. “I know. Wild. Battled through a lot of everything to get this to you today. 4 years in the making [sic]”.

Former Eastenders star Charlie Brooks - who played Janine Butcher in the soap - has launched her own vibrator with Ann Summers. (Shutterstock)
Former Eastenders star Charlie Brooks – who played Janine Butcher in the soap – has launched her own vibrator with Ann Summers. (Shutterstock)

During an appearance on This Morning on Monday, the actor explained that turning 40 led her to want to learn more about the female body, and found that the clitoris was the shape of a wishbone, something she didn’t know.

“I was fed up of not feeling comfortable in my body,” she added on Instagram. “Realised I didn’t know enough about it, so I went on a journey of the body and mind [sic].

"I woke up in the middle of the night about four years ago and thought, 'Well why isn’t there a vibrator that surrounds the clitoris and it doesn’t penetrate?'" she told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on the breakfast TV show.

The vibrator, created in collaboration with Ann Summers, does just that.

The U Stimulator Charlie Brooks
The U Stimulator started life around Charlie Brooks' dinner table. (Ann Summers)

“Designed to cradle not penetrate,” Brooks started developing The U Self Love Stimulator out of clay from her dining room table.

"But I just had this idea and I thought there must be something like this on the market... research, research, research... and there was nothing."

"I ordered some clay and I started making it around my kitchen table,” she continued. I spoke to friends, I told them it’s going to be in the shape of a 'U' and it’s going to surround the vulva and it’s going be called The U and they said, ‘You should do it, you should do it!'"

The result is a cushioned silicone vibrator that surrounds the pleasure points in a U shape, which has been launched to several rave reviews.

The U Stimulator Charlie Brooks
The U Stimulator by Charlie Brooks. (Ann Summers)

£100 at Ann Summers

Despite the excitement around the collaboration, Brooks admitted she has been scared to talk about female pleasure on TV, as there’s still stigma attached to it.

"It’s been a really interesting journey for me for exactly those reasons," she continued, "the fear that I’ve felt doing [the business]. I’ve had so much self-doubt and uncertainty."

The U range is available at Ann Summers stores and online at Annsummers.com.